Mario + Rabbids: Sparks Of Hope is an intergalactic rollercoaster of turn-based combat and exploration. Traverse the galaxy with the Heroes, free Sparks from captivity, and defeat Cursa at her Stronghold.
Being set in a galaxy far, far away, there is a lot that doesn't make sense about Mario + Rabbids and the bizarre, colourful lands they inhabit. From planet wardens who seem to have no real purpose to the way people leave all these gold coins just hanging about, you'd be forgiven for being frequently at a loss. Here are some of the weirdest things about Sparks Of Hope.
8/8 The Bad Guys Always Respawn
If you've found yourself turned around while traversing the more labyrinthine biomes — I'm looking at you, Pristine Peaks — you might feel a touch of déjà vu. Didn't you collect all that coin and defeat that Wildclaw already? The answer to both questions is yes because the enemies and resources in Sparks Of Hope regenerate after a period of time.
While a boost to your coffers never goes amiss, it can be frustrating to get turned around and have to go through the same battles if your sense of direction isn't great.
7/8 Bowser Is On Your Team
Bowser, everyone's favourite spiky-shelled turtle, makes an appearance in this game not as an enemy, but as a fellow playable hero! Bowser is not one of the starter six Heroes, but can be unlocked as part of the main storyline.
It's great to have a chance to work with a resident bad guy, and Bowser is one of the most powerful choices you can make when considering strong contenders to bring into battle with you. His massive area-of-effect damage makes this beast a force to be reckoned with; he doesn't bite (hard).
6/8 The Maps Are Big – And I Mean Big
If there's one thing Sparks Of Hope does well, it's variety and space — and boy is there a lot of both in this game. There are six realms to explore and venture through, each one with its unique characteristics and foes to overcome in battle.
As you traverse these sprawling plains, you'll also unlock more Spark companions to add to your collection. Not all of these are unlocked through the main storyline, so you'll need to keep an eye on your map and look out for missable side quests if collecting all 30 of these cute Rabbid-Luma hybrids is on your to-do list!
5/8 The Difficulty Spike Are Actually Challenging
While some kid-friendly gates have fairly pointless difficulty levels, that isn't the case for Sparks Of Hope. You can change your difficulty level before each battle, from story mode to challenging, and the challenging level really holds up to what it says on the tin.
There's nothing quite like the cold sweat you break into when you realise just how much damage those Burn and Frostbite attacks can inflict, and it's certainly not something you'd expect from a Pegi-7 game. It's okay to quickly dial back the pressure by swapping to a lower difficulty, though. We promise we won't tell on you.
4/8 Where Is Rosalina?
Yes yes, we know that you can unlock queen of lethargy herself, miss Rabbid Rosalina, but what of her classic counterpart?
Rosalina is not one of the heroes available to play, which is rather strange since every other character (aside from Edge and Bowser) have Rabbid forms as well as their classic ones. She will most likely be added in future patches and content updates, but for the time being, it does strike us as strange that they wouldn't just release them both together.
3/8 Only Beep-O Speaks In Full Sentences
Despite every character being able to speak thanks to on-screen text, only sentient robot companion Beep-O and his protégé Jeanie have fully-voiced lines throughout the game.
It's a shame, since the main characters do have partially-voiced lines, so we know they are definitely capable of speech, but it is rather odd that the game devs deemed only the robots capable of proper speech. This probably doesn't matter as much, since we know that you skip through all the dialogue anyway. Tut tut.
2/8 Auggie (And The Other Wardens) Don't Do…Anything
While it's all well and good for the backstory of each biome, it strikes us as a bit strange that there would be these giant, hulking Wardens for each zone that have very little (if any) involvement with the actual gameplay.
Sure, they are funny to interact with and provide some insight into each world, but in the broader scope of the game, it would have been fun to summon Auggie into battle with you at a later stage, perhaps in another realm. Besides, if these guys are the Wardens and sole protectors of each planet, shouldn't they have more of a hand in helping you save their people? It makes absolutely zero sense.
1/8 Battlefield Physics
The turn-based combat system is the highlight of the game, requiring you to think ahead to your opponents' next move before you commit to firing your weapon and staying put for the duration of their move. Ranged attackers like Luigi and Rabbid Peach do well no matter the size of the battleground, while the likes of Edge and Peach might see themselves struggling to get a clean line of sight when things get hairy.
It doesn't make much sense that Rabbid Luigi's triple-hitting Discruptor is more useful in a pinch than Mario's Dualslingers, but who are we to judge the logic of this weird, wonderful game?
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